A Wounded Deer Leaps Highest
by C.P. Mangel
Eyewear Publishing

"I would let go of the sky, sink into the shadow beneath the bluest wave which would swallow me up in all its darkness."

Titus (Ty) Horace, a black lawyer turned successful novelist (under the nom de plume Ovid White), and his fair Jewish wife make a life-changing move from Chicago to North Carolina. The couple is reluctant to take their striking, confident young daughter, Asa, away from educational opportunities and leave their comfortable lives in 1950s Chicago. However, Ty has inherited ninety acres of land, the remnant of a former land grant passed through his family for over a century. His aunt’s will contains a provision that he must reside on the land or forfeit the entire estate. Thus begins an obligation that grows far graver than anticipated.

The family immediately finds refuge in the heart of the black community in Kidron, North Carolina, the small farming community near the Horace ancestral homestead. Ty is well aware of the written and unwritten rules governing black behavior there. But Ardene and Asa must learn that the freedom to which they are accustomed to as a multiracial family in the North has a steep price in the South. That price is measured in the sorrow dealt by the Klan, of which nearly every white man of stature and influence in the community is a member.

Graced with lyrical prose, succinct storytelling, and memorable characters, this coming-of-age tale is a gut-wrenching but triumphant journey into the Jim Crow era of the American South. Supported by her unswerving vision, artistic sensitivity, and a voracious appetite for reading, Asa’s narrative is filled with inspiration, deep rumination, poetic discourse, and, ultimately, great loss. But there is beauty in the breaking, and those who journey with Mangel’s characters will be made stronger for the reading.

A 2020 Eric Hoffer Book Award Grand Prize Short List honoree, General Fiction Category winner, and First Horizon Award winner.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home